. When I was 10, we moved out into "the country" (actually a half-mile out of the city limits) and initially got onto an eight-party line. Yep, eight. Thank goodness, everybody only heard rings for themselves and three others. Within a year, we got a four-party line on which nobody used the phone very much; it was a real improvement! But, you know, in the 40s and early 50s, a private line was a rarity. People just didn't see the need for it. In fact, before we moved, we didn't even have a phone. If somebody wanted to call us, they rang the next-door neighbor, who would run over and tell us we had a call. That's when neighbors were neighbors... And while we are in the realm of the unbelievable here, there were very few dial phones outside of the big cities in those Days of Yesteryear. The small town I lived in was, in fact, the very first in the US to get what we now consider a standard dial phone system - in 1955! . .